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  • Click to view dpkronmiller's profile
    Posted October 4, 2012 by
    Burbank, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Final presidential debate: Unanswered questions

    More from dpkronmiller

    Big Bird Gave Me Hope and Education


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     dpkronmiller credits much of his interest and his film career towards PBS, saying that when he was young, he grew up poor and one of the only channels he had on television was PBS. He says GOP politicians confuse PBS as a form of entertainment, but he argues that the channel is a foundation of education for many people because of its accessibility. However, other iReporters on the site argue that presidential candidate Mitt Romney's comments about cutting funding to PBS are totally justifiable.

    Where do you stand on the topic, did PBS impact you?
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    I was raised for a while as a kid in Brazil where my parents were missionaries and when we came back to the United States we settled for a time in North Texas and were quite poor. We could not afford a VHS player or cable and all we had was what we could get on our 13 Inch Radio Shack color television and a black white television before that. One of those stations was PBS.

    PBS allowed me to acclimate to the United States and overcome some of my struggles with confidence and speaking - for a short time I even stuttered as I struggled with two competing languages in my head. So I was not confident when I came to the states. Though my stutter was left in Brazil I still had a hard time talking to people and relating to them - Sesame Street, The Electric Company and many others gave me guidance and taught me some basic skills.

    I also watched some of PBS' other programming including discovering Dr. Who, Black Adder and Red Dwarf - those shows provided a level of comfort and inspiration that, combined with Henson's Muppets at Sesame Street, led to the career I now have.

    Some folks on the right in this country think we can not afford PBS and that it should be run privately - but imagine a little kid being subjected to commercial breaks rather than the uninterrupted teaching that happens at PBS now. It is already bad enough that our news organizations have to maintain high budgets and thus have corporate sponsorship that may in fact make it hard to report on those corporate partners (think insurance ads, oil ads, etc) - PBS is a place where information can be shared without a huge conflict of interest.

    And finally - cutting funding for PBS will mean many local PBS stations will go dark and those individuals who already don't make that much will lose jobs. I don't know why that is something anyone wants to happen today.

    Government spending is not some black hole where money just disappears - when the government spends money people get paychecks - we must start being honest about that. Cutting government spending means people lose jobs at a time when we need as much money circulating as possible.

    Big Bird will be fine if PBS loses it's funding but the poor children in this country will not. They will be forced to either watch commercial heavy content that will be less focused and less educational or nothing at all. Not everyone has an internet connection and cable.
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